Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are there no geeks in Britain??? There are not.

People say extended warranties on computers are a waste of money, but for me they're a sound investment. And before the usual know it alls tell me to buy a Mac (though they don't even bother to read even this far in one of my posts, so I'm probably wasting type here), graphics cards go out in Macs too. Actually, given the age of the computer, it's holding up very well. It's old enough that even I was surprised to find out it was still under warranty, but I'd bought the longest warranty they offered, and it looks like I'll get my money's worth out of it. But for what it's worth, I think Alienware is truly staffed by aliens, because they made a computer that lasted a normal lifespan in my care.

So, no, the story of my desktop being out of commission isn't another post on my famous computer curse. The fact that it went out of commission at the same time my netbook decided that all it wanted to do was type "...." all day and Trevor's netbook forgot how to connect to wifi, is, however, thanks to my curse. And no, I will not be replacing my netbook with a Mac either. I bought a netbook on the theory that since I was used to having to get a new laptop-y thing every year (way too expensive for my tastes) I could instead get a cheapo netbook, burn through it, and get a new one of those every year for a fraction of the price (and it'll be a lot of years before that totals a Mac laptop). My Asus lasted about 18 months, next I'll try a Samsung and see how it holds up (I wouldn't recommend the Asus, by the way. Not for someone who uses a netbook for hours a day and carries it around everywhere. The card reader gets too hot unless you set the netbook up on a hard surface all the time, and to me, true portability means being able to hold the thing in your lap or balance it on your knee.)

But as I shopped for netbooks, I came to the startling realization that there are no true geeks in Britain. There aren't. I don't want to hear silly protests to the contrary because I have proof. Try to buy a netbook without Windows on it online in the UK. Even Dell discontinued their Ubuntu line. I talked to my friend who works for Google (to whom I owe a huge thank you for kindly looking up some phone numbers for me when all my computers were down - thank you Ian) and he routinely buys Windows machines and rips off the Windows to install Linux.

This is downright shocking, that people who think of themselves as geeks in this country are paying money to Microsoft. That, I fear, means they are not true geeks. They can dream, but alas, you don't get to carry the club card with something like that on your record - unless you shell out for one Windows machine to game. That, of course, is a different matter. So, I'll have a netbook with Windows 7 on it, that was priced accordingly. Darn you spineless wannabe geeks who didn't prop up a proper Linux market!!! You owe me fifty pounds, at least! *shakes fist* At least, thanks to the UK mail system, I get it tomorrow. Until then I have Trevor's netbook (which relearned how to wifi) and I'm sure he'll be relieved to have it out of my clutches. I just hope it doesn't break before then...

And yeah, I'm writing my novel on this thing, while my son naps. (Yay for naptime!)


  1. If it makes you feel better, I'm sure the ripoff amounts to well under fifty pounds -- netbook manufacturers don't pay retail for Windows. :)

  2. I know they don't but the passthrough's usually pretty high, if you compare. And take a gander at the UK's prices for consumer goods. You'll struggle to get a netbook for less than $300.00, American, even an Asus. Everything here is costlier.

  3. Yah, I've heard that everything is costlier, even factoring in VAT.

    Out of curiosity, what are you writing with on the Linux netbook? OpenOffice? I ask because I'm using a fancy specialized editor (Scrivener) on my fancy pants Mac, and I'm curious what the Linux people use.

  4. Yeah, I just compose .rtf on the netbook using OpenOffice or Abbiword or whatever and then do the final formatting in MSWord on my desktop.